The summer block is in full swing and the painful cross training phase is coming to an end. The last 6 weeks has been a roller coaster ride of training sessions, airports, cars and meetings. I've also been touching up the finer details of my season plans with the Games only 199 days away.

I've been based in Rotorua, training on the beautiful Kaituna River in between trips abroad. The huge amounts of rain hammering the Bay of Plenty has made the conditions on the river perfect. Usually the Kaituna training course has low water levels at this time of the year, but our training venue has been transformed into a raging torrent. With the London Course consisting of big pushing whitewater, this has been an ideal situation for us.

In December I spent a week working on technique for London at the Sydney Olympic Training course in Australia. This was hugely beneficial as I was working with 2008 Bronze medalist Robin Bell & the AIS. We made some huge leaps before I flew back home and became a fish out of water, coaching the South Island Development Squad at the Whitewater Center in Tekapo, Central Otago. It was great to see the motivation and energy these youngsters have. Future champions right there.

The Christmas & New Years break provided some much need R&R before the 2012 preparation continues through January with our first major races of 2012. The NZ Open is on shortly in the small town of Shannon, while just a few weeks later the 2nd Olympic Qualifcation event & the Oceania Championships will commence in Sydney in February. This is the final chance for our NZ Canoe athletes to secure a spot on the London 2012 start list.

Keep up to date with pictures videos and reports at www.mikedawson.co.nz